RoadPeace Collision Investigation campaign
Thorough collision investigation is the cornerstone of justice. Without it:
w Criminal culpability escapes detection
w Fair compensation is delayed, if not denied, to victims
w Prevention programmes are biased
w Victims suffer secondary victimisation, and
w the public lack confidence in the police, which deters many from walking and cycling.
Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb
House of Lords
We are a modern and mobile society. We travel widely for work, education and enjoyment. Freedom of movement is a basic right, as should be safety of
movement. But when the worst happens and someone is killed or suffers life changing injuries in a crash, the state should respond with a thorough
But how are we to know how that, after budget cuts and increasing workloads, the police are able to deliver thorough investigations. Where is the quality
assurance? This is the key question posed by RoadPeace in this report. Supporting and advocating on behalf of bereaved families for over 25 years, RoadPeace
has decades of experience of hearing questions and concerns
about road death investigation.
I am a long standing campaigner for road traffic justice and I know the justice system does not treat road traffic crime as seriously as other types of crime.
This includes less investigation being conducted in road deaths than other involuntary killings. When I was a London Assembly member and on the Police and
Crime Committee, the average cost of a homicide investigation was over 12 times that of a road death. And that was in London, where best practice is supposed to be found.
Almost five years on, there is reason to fear the situation has worsened.
The MPS are unable to report the judicial outcomes of fatal collisions, including those involving hit and run. And London is reporting the lowest rate of breath-testing
of car drivers in collisions in England, with fewer than one in four car drivers being breath tested after a casualty collision.
This report is a call to action – with a collaborative approach required. RoadPeace has highlighted the victims’ perspectives but joint working is needed. I urge national
government and individual police services and Police and Crime Commissioners to work together to ensure road deaths are investigated thoroughly, impartially and
effectively. Transport authorities, committed to reducing road danger and increasing active travel, have a key role in getting proper priority from overstretched police.
London, with its aim to eliminate road deaths by 2041, should lead the way. And of course, this effort should include the voices of victims and campaigners.